Get involved

Whether you like birding with others, learning new skills, helping out, or just meeting other people who share your interest, there are lots of ways you can get involved in Dorset.

Young birders

Hannah Westhenry and Mya Bambrick are BTO Youth Ambassadors for Dorset. Read Hannah's account below of the first meeting in November 2021 of young Dorset birders. The first event was at Lodmoor in Weymouth and another event was held in Bournemouth/Poole in January 2022.

BTO Dorset Newsletter Dec 2021- Hannah Westhenry article

The Bird Club is very pleased to announce a new joint venture to support young birders across Dorset. From 1st August 2022 we have joined forces with CHOG to offer free membership of both clubs to anyone under 25. There will be reciprocal arrangements, so that anyone joining one club will be invited to join the other at the same time. This new venture is part of a collaborative, supported by the BTO Youth Team, which we hope will extend to other organisations in Dorset over time. The youth collaborative will also support BTO-led events for young people, some of which have already taken place. Samuel Levy of BTO Youth Team says "All these events will help to increase the representation of young people across the bird clubs and help us create a more welcoming environment, while encouraging our young members to help us shape our events and membership so that they get the most from their experience". Read what he has to say about it here:

Samuel Levy writes about new joint venture for young birders in Dorset

Female birders

Also we've set up a WhatsApp group for female birders in Dorset. The ‘Lady Birders’ group has been set up to help people get more from their shared enjoyment of birding. Through the group they can arrange to meet each other, go to bird meetings and events together, send in photos and sound recordings for identification, and build friendships. The aim is to create a friendly space where everyone can chat, get to know one another, and feel comfortable. If you're interested in joining and are a Bird Club member please contact veritypixiehill@gmail.com.

Volunteering

If you're interested in helping with wildlife conservation there are opportunites through a number of voluntary and public sector bodies. Here are a few:

BARI (The Bird and Recreation Initiative), a new venture set up for Poole Harbour by the local authorities in conjunction with Natural England. See their Volunteering leaflet

Dorset Conservation Volunteers, an independent group of volunteers who undertake work associated with the countryside and conservation, on behalf of charities and other organisations involved in conservation. They have tasks most weekends throughout the year, across the county.  See https://www.dcv.org.uk/

Dorset Wildlife Trust offer a great many opportunities, and have volunteer teams in most parts of Dorset. See their volunteer pages at https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/things-do/volunteering

Kingfisher Barn in the Stour Valley in north Bournemouth, have plenty of ways to be involved if yiou're interested in volunteering https://www.visitstourvalley.co.uk/support/volunteer-opportunities.aspx  

RSPB welcome volunteers at their reserves, especially Arne where there is a residential volunteer programme. Worth asking locally at Arne or the Weymouth reserves (Lodmoor and Radipole Lake) about current volunteering opportunities, or visit their national page at https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering-fundraising/volunteer/

Upton Coutry Park have volunteers for gardening and for practical conservation, and also for projects - see https://uptoncountrypark.com/get-involved/volunteering/

And check the Countryside Jobs Service website for the latest round-up of volunteering jobs in the conservation/outdoor sector nationwide https://www.countryside-jobs.com/cjs-focus/current-edition

Local birding and wildlife groups

Some areas have local networks to share news or to support less experienced birders. If there isn’t one in your area, why not set one up? Some groups have found WhatsApp to be a great way to communicate. Let us know if there’s a group you’d like listed.

Bridport Bird Club 

About us: The Bridport Bird Club was started in 2021 and comprises a small group of local birders carrying out surveys and bird related conservation projects in the Bridport and West Bay area of West Dorset. New members very welcome!

o Website: Bridportbirdclub.blogspot.com

o email: peteforrest81@gmail.com

o Twitter: N/A

o Facebook: N/A

CHOG – Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group